Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Jammies and Santa Hat

We love our sock monkeys around here. Love this little monkey even more!

Not too crazy about the Santa hat.

Still pulling on it.

Determination still going strong!


Merry Christmas Eve Everybody!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Senior Portrait

My baby, the Senior! I can't believe Shelbi is graduating in less than five months! Where did the time go??? I LOVE this picture. Shelbi is glowing and simply beautiful! The photographer took the drape shots for the yearbook. I bought a small package and will be taking some casual portraits over the next few months. =)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Harlee is Three!!!

Harlee is our third granddaughter, fifth grandchild, and second to the baby. She was originally due around the first of January, but came December 18th. Prettiest early Christmas present ever!

I got my first digital camera when she was 7 months old, so I have quite a few favorites of her.I took this one in my back yard. She was only 7 months old. Not really sitting well yet, so she fell over right after I took this shot, then screamed because she touched grass. Serious texture issues back then. =)

This was 9 months. She was in a local beauty pageant. Isn't she a doll?

First Halloween. My little bumblebee.

First Birthday!!!

Second Christmas, but only 1 year old. =)

This was around 15 months. She was laughing at her Aunt Shelbi that she loves more than life.

One of her famous silly faces! She had many!

One of my favorites. She had just turned two.

This was taken at a local festival just a couple of months ago. I love the dogears.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O Christmas Tree (Times Three)

Yes, I put up three trees. We put up our "sentimental," "this is our life" tree first every year. It sits in our dining room window on the front of our house. On it hangs our children's childhood ornaments and family ornaments. The first two are the oldest on the tree. As a teenager, I collected unicorns and my mother gave me this ball around 1980. You can see the cracks in it. In 1984 I had a baby girl and my cousin Tammy, who is Mallory's godmother, gave her this gold one.

The next three ornaments chronicle mine and Larry's first three married Christmases. We married in 1990, got pregnant in 1991, and had Shelbi 3 days after our second anniversary in 1992. Busy, busy years. =)

Shelbi's first ornament. The little heart behind it came from a dear friend in 1983, who has since gone to Glory.

I love the next one on the left because it represents our first year as grandparents and our newest grandson's (Leon) first Christmas ornament in on the right.

Then there are those that captured our fun memories, like Sarah's princess one from our Disney World vacation in 2004. And the famous lamp from Larry's favorite Christmas movie.

Shelbi's got tons of sports ornaments from years of summer softball and basketball. The second one I gave her the year she started texting like crazy. It actually is a symbol of her overcoming selective mutism, too. She started texting friends that she wanted to talk to and worked her way up to verbal communication. This year Shelbi is a Senior, so I was tickled to find a little graduating snowman. His robe even matches Shelbi's school colors. =)

Finished product. I love my gingerbread tree skirt.

Just threw a picture of my Willow Tree nativity scene in because it's also in the dining room. I leave it up year round just because I love it.
I put this wreath together for my dining room/kitchen archway. I love gingerbread decorations.

When we bought our house nine years ago, I did the living room in moss green, cream, and mauve. That's when we started doing two trees. All of my traditional ornaments really clashed, so I bought a lot of Victorian style ornaments in my color scheme and added some gold. I LOVE this tree, even though I threaten every year not to put it up. It takes forever to do the lights and get it decorated. This year, I skipped the balls.
These are a few of my favorite ornaments.
This frame holds copies of mine and Larry's baby pics. I absolutely adore it!

Lots of crosses. I love the nativity scene etched into the one on the right.

This picture is of my Nannie and Poppa when they first got married. It was taken in 1937 (scanned copy, also). The pram on the right is typical of most of the other ornaments.
The one on the left is special because my Aunt Nancy got it for me. It was handmade and she bought it at a yard sale. I loved the fact that she thought about me, but also love the way the beads sparkle in the lights on the tree. I think it looks like a miniature chandelier. And the tree at night! Yes, I like lots of lights. :) I do have a pretty tree skirt, but forgot to put it on before I took these pictures and I am too lazy to take another picture, download it off the camera, and put it on the blog. ;)

Of course, every teacher also has to decorate their class, too. This tree is so special because it contains ornaments my students gave me since my first year, like the Santa on the left from Tre in 2001 and the right is from Skylar in 2007. =)

Bradford gave me this apple one last Christmas and I bought the one on the right a couple of years ago because it sums up what teaching means to me.

Usually, my class trees have been big and covered with student made ornaments, but because of the number of children and lack of space I downsized and now just have my little "teacher tree." They're taking their ornaments home for their trees.

This concludes my tour of trees. Soon I'll be posting pictures of grandchildren ripping open their gifts. =) Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Keep the Prayers Coming

My sister, Becky, and I just got back from visiting my Uncle Harold in the ICU. His breathing situation is not any better and they asked him if he wanted to be put on a respirator. He has a DNR order which states not to put him on one if it would be long-term. The doctors said if he was put on now, it would be permanent and he'd have to live in a nursing home. Uncle Harold declined and says he is prepared to go. They allowed his granddaughters 11 and under to see him today. The hospital is also allowing my aunt to sleep on a cot in his room. Becky and I went to the hospital tonight knowing it would probably be the last time we see him alive unless God intervenes miraculously.
When we walked in, we could hear him picking at the nurse. I was reminded of when we first met him. My Aunt Thelma is only 14 years older than I am and met Harold in college. I was probably 6 or 7. When she brought him home to meet my grandparents, the grandkids should have scared him off. Instead he pretended to eat worms in front of us, which grossed me out, and picked at us. Later, he would torture us by tickling us to tears. So I wasn't surprised to find him on oxygen, struggling to breathe, and still giving the male nurse a hard time. Then he made sure the nurse knew he had been kidding, then added, "You might have to come in and help my wife tonight." He talked about Heaven while we were with him and how he has loved ones he looks forward to seeing again. It seemed like he was reassuring us, and himself, that he would be alright. I told him I hear a lot of complaining from people, then hear "Well, that's life. It beats the alternative." Well, that depends on what your alternative is. Uncle Harold seems to be looking forward to the alternative, even though it breaks his heart to leave his wife, children, grandchildren, and his parents. Yes, he still has his parents. They were there visiting tonight. It breaks my heart that his mom has to lose her child and my heart breaks for my aunt, my cousins and their children, too. Saying goodbye to your loved one is NEVER easy. Please pray for God's peace and comfort over my uncle, aunt and their family. Thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Praise and Prayer Request


Debbie sent me a text tonight that I just read a few minutes ago. She said that Rebecca, our almost 9 year old granddaughter got saved tonight!!!!! I don't know any details of where and what transpired and it was too late to call, but I am in tears just from reading the text. Becca's always been tenderhearted and spiritually minded, asking lots of questions about God, Jesus, Heaven, etc. Just look at my sweet girl! Now, who wouldn't want to spend eternity with her?!

Rebecca, this is THE most important decision you will EVER make and the fact that you made it at only 8 shows everyone how smart and special you are! =) I am SO proud of you. I love you, baby!

My Dad called today and said my Uncle Harold is in ICU on a ventilator. He was diagnosed several months back with "hardening of the lungs." (I don't remember the technical name for it.) Anyway, he's probably only 60 years old and has a wife (my aunt), 2 daughters and 6 very young grandchildren. Please pray for Harold and Thelma Allgood and their family. Thank you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Count Your Blessings, Literally

Since hearing that Larry's job will be ending soon, I've really been overwhelmed with all the decisions we are facing regarding our future. So much is up in the air. Still, I have much to be grateful for. I also made a promise to praise Him through the storm and that's what I intend to do. I decided to make a list of my blessings, some new and some old, that I am so very thankful for.

** Disclaimer** They are NOT listed in order of importance or value. :)

1. My salvation at ten years old (well, this one IS number one.) More importantly, I'm thankful for, and to, the one that made salvation possible. He who first loved me.
2. My husband who is willing to sacrifice what he wants in order to provide for us. The fact that he is a great father--- and his children realize it.
3. Our six amazing, beautiful, brilliant daughters.
4. My mother and sisters that have ALWAYS been there for me.
5. Our sons-in-law that we love and, more importantly, that love our daughters.
6. Our six amazing, gorgeous, brilliant grandchildren. =)
7. My awesome network of extended family. I love my aunts, uncles, and cousins. And my stepmother, father, and nieces and nephews. And most of my in-laws. ;)
8. That I grew up surrounded by six loving grandparents. They gave me roots and also sowed the first seeds of faith in my life.
9. Our church family. I've never been to any other church where everyone genuinely loves each other. And they will know you by the love you have for one another.
10. My job, especially now. ;-) And the awesome women I work with.
11. Babies! (enough said)
12. Leon's sweet disposition and his precious belly laugh. I'm thankful that I can have him the whole week of Thanksgiving. Yay for me!
13. Yesterday, when my husband was asked if he hunted, he replied that he doesn't have time because his family is his hobby. :)
14. I love that Harlee says she loves her Poppa the best. Aww.
15. I love that Mason says he loves Mimi the best. Still melts my heart. :)
16. I love that Noah says he loves Poppa and Mimi. Such a diplomat. lol
17. I love that Becca looks for houses with for sale signs (and reports to us when she finds one)because she wants us to live near her.
18. I love that Lauren is comically quirky.
19. I am SO thankful that God completely delivered Shelbi from Selective Mutism this year!
20. My little sister's MS is in remission! Yay!
21. Larry's job offer, even if he decides to turn it down. It's good just to know you're wanted. I know that from experience.
22. My house is warm in the winter, cool in the summer. I have food in the cabinets and the fridge and when I don't, Wal-Mart is .4 miles away.
23. I have the means (right now :) to sponsor two Compassion children, Latifa and John Dave.
24. Every month, when I put my St. Jude withdrawal in the checkbook, I'm grateful Shelbi did not have leukemia 16 years ago.
25. I have friends that know me and still love/tolerate me anyway. =) Mind boggling, I know.
26. Grants, scholarships, and even the loans that helped me return to school 12 years ago.
27. Computers, Internet, and cell phones that keep us connected to our loved ones.
28. Cameras that capture beautiful, treasured memories.
29. Seeing my daughters in gorgeous wedding gowns/bridesmaid/prom dresses. =)
30. Watching my husband in his tux when he gave four of them away.
31. My grandchildren are my favorite little people on the planet. I hope we are best friends when they grow up like my Nannie and I were. I hope they never stop missing and loving me, even after I'm gone.
32. I own old black and white (and more recent) pictures of family members that are gone.

I love that things are going to pop into my head later and I'll have to add to this list. I am trusting that this list will get longer each year.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Noah is 8 Years (and one day) Old

Our second daughter, Stephanie, had an ultrasound on 6/1/01 and we found out we were getting our first grandson. When she came by that afternoon with the sonogram pictures, Larry said, "I'll believe it when I see it!" LOL At this time we had our six girls and our first granddaughter was 4 months old. Larry couldn't even wrap his head around the possibility of not being the only family member with testosterone.
November 4th, Kenneth "Noah" arrived.

Boy oh boy, we were headed on a new adventure. We wondered if we'd even know what to do with a little boy. People say girls are harder to raise, but when you have nothing else, it's kind of hard to imagine any different. Of course, everyone know babies are all the same, right? Not true of this one. While most infants prefer women over men, Noah was born to be all boy. He was a sweet baby who loved all of us, but would tremble with delight when he heard his Daddy or Poppa talk.

I LOVE the look of total adoration in this one as he looks up at Poppa. =) He's six months here.

About a year and a half. This one was SO Noah! You could never take your shoes off when he was around without him jumping into them. This kid had a shoe fettish early on. That, he gets from his Momma. ;)
At his 2nd birthday party. Long before this picture, Noah was a funny kid. He kept us entertained with tricks, antics, and funny faces.

At 2 1/2, he became a big brother to Mason. Look at that little ham!

At three, he still loved putting on other people's clothes. :)

At four, he was the ring bearer in his Aunt Leslie's wedding. That's a whole 'nother post. LOL I always fall for a man in a tuxedo! Doesn't he look handsome?! And Becca looked like a little princess! Such adorable grandkids--- I'll bet everybody wishes theirs were as cute as ours. ;)

Here's one of my favorites of him with his little brother, Mason. They were 5 and 2 in this one.

Six years old, with his Mommy at his Kindergarten Graduation reception. You think they are kin? If he were a girl, he'd be her clone. :)

Last year, at his seventh birthday party. He had to have a "John Deere" tractor cake. (Yes, Nicki! lol)

He's a great big brother to Harlee (almost 3)! He will do anything for this bossy little sister, except take his eyes off of the Nintendo DS. hehe

Sorry this is a day late! So glad you had a great day yesterday! =)